How Body Pain and Weather are Closely Related
Science has proved that barometric pressure has an impact on the human body. Changes in pressure or the weight of the air pressing against the surface of the earth can trigger joint pain or headaches in some people. The cold weather makes our immune systems less effective, and since people tend to spend more time together indoors with the windows shut, it makes it more likely that they will spread infections between one another. However, apart from that, the weather change also contributes to physical pain.
Science says, we cannot feel the barometric pressure, but we can feel the temperatures that affect the gases in our bodies. Low-pressure is associated with cooler air; it gives the gases in our tissues more room to expand. The change is so subtle that people with healthy tissue won’t feel any effects. So when you remember your elders telling you they could ‘feel’ the storm coming, they were likely right.
The key role of physiotherapy here is to enable safe exercising for the vulnerable population in such environmental or climate change.
How does bad weather cause pain?
Many types of research have noticed that the change in barometric pressure affects the musculoskeletal system of the body. Cold weather contributes to low atmospheric pressure. Less force is exerted on our tissues and joints by the atmosphere when the pressure drops. Therefore, our tissues expand, which results in more pressure on joints; all this happens to us at a microscopic level. However, the people who have compromised joints have less scope to cope with the added pressure. The sensitize nerves become even more so, and they constantly send pain signals to the brain.
The deal is that it will have diverse effects. Mood swings might take a toll on individuals. We tend to feel happier when the sun is out, and it hugely impacts on pain perception centers in the brain. And this might be the reason why people with chronic pain are always encouraged to stay as active as possible. People with pre-existing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia will have a hard time to get out and about. And with a long time of inactivity due to lousy weather stiffness, weakness and pain follow. Since it is not the actual temperature of the air that causes the pain, cold air is a sign of low barometric pressure which is why pain and cold are associated closely.
What to do to prevent it?
No one can do anything to change the barometric pressure; we could put more efforts towards defending ourselves by defending ourselves with heat. Taking hot baths, using heat packs and keeping the house warm will all contribute to a reduction in swelling and stiffness. One way to aid the pain is by keeping the affected area elevated to facilitate the flow of blood and lymph. Exercise is an effective way to relieve pain. Physiotherapy tens machines are used for nerve stimulation; it is a method of short term pain relief. This is an excellent option for older people who cannot move for more extended periods and cannot bear the cold and pain.
There indeed appears to be a link between pain and barometric pressure but it is likely aggravated by the fact that people often tend to be less active during winters and spend more time sitting which leads to stiff muscles and joints. Any movements or exercising can help counteract this, whether it be going for walks, or just moving around a little more than usual. This will help keep your body warmer.
The best way to combat pain during winters is moving around more often and engaging in exercises that increase blood flow in your muscles, stretching, running, etc. Also, a proper diet always plays a role; foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory effects also help.